Having the desire to be seen is part of being human and as human beings are interdependent, it is a vital part of not only being able to survive, but to thrive. If human beings were inherently independent, then it wouldn’t matter if they were seen by others or not.
One’s ability to survive and thrive would not be affected; so it wouldn’t matter how one felt. But as this is not the case, it is going to be important for someone to feel that other people notice them and that they are not invisible.
For when one does feel this way, it is going to make a massive difference to their wellbeing. They are going to feel acknowledged, connected, empowered, important, and valuable, amongst others things.
And as they are able to experience this in life, it is going to be possible for them to acknowledge other people and to pass on their positive state of mind. It will also mean that they are used to getting their wants and needs met by others.
Needs And Wants
This is not to say that they will also be met, but what it does mean is that through being noticed by others, one won’t have to hide or deny their needs. They will feel comfortable enough to show their needs and wants to others and to ask other people to meet them when it is possible.
And when it comes to needing help or assistance, one won’t feel that they have to struggle by themselves. They will know that there are people around them who will be more than happy to help in most cases.
Having this outlook then, is going to mean that their relationships with others are generally life affirming. Their family members or colleagues might not be able to acknowledge them as they would like, but this is not going to be something they will have to put up with from their partner or friends for instance.
Their relationships and how they expect other people to respond to them is going to reflect their self image. Here, one is going to feel important, valuable and most importantly, that it is safe for them to be seen.
However, when one feels invisible, they are not going to be able to relate to the above; it may be something that they experience on the odd occasion, but it is not going to be how their life usually is. For some people, it won’t even be something they experience on the odd occasion.
And this is going to have a big impact on this person’s wellbeing; it could mean that one is used to feeling powerless, worthless and even as being burden to others. One could live a life of being isolated and depressed.
One could experience life in such a way that they feel as though they can see other people, but other people can’t see them. Like a car with blacked out windows: it is easy to notice others, but it is not possible for other people to notice them.
And to live this way or rather to exist this way, it not going to allow one to feel acknowledged or important; it is going to be a life of suffering. There are going to be some people who have taken their life as a way to end this misery.
Whereas others will resort to crime as a way to be noticed or one may just end up suffering in silence.
One may not bother asking for help or assistance from others, as they think that other people will only say no. They could believe that their needs and wants are a burden to others and that it is best for them to hide them.
It is then going to be a challenge for them to have relationships where they not only give, but also receive. That is if they have any close relationships; as they might not have any.
What’s Going On?
If someone was to look at someone who felt invisible, they would see that they are no different to anyone else. However, if they were to observe this persons behaviour, they would gradually begin to notice things.
This person may: dress in a way that stops them from standing out, they may isolate themselves from others, say very little and have trouble maintaining eye contact.
The reason one feels invisible could be due to their experiences as an adult, but it is more likely to be the result of what took place during their childhood. During this time, one wouldn’t have received the nurturing that they needed to develop a sense of self.
In one’s family of origin, one would have been ignored, abandoned and neglected. A sense of self can only develop it one is given what they need. If a seed is not given the right sunlight, it won’t be able to grow. And human beings are the same; if they are not given the right nutrients, they won’t grow.
So through not being seen by the people or person that one was brought up by, it is not possible for their sense of self to develop. Not being seen then becomes associated as what is familiar and therefore safe by the ego mind.
The need to be seen is going to be there and won’t simply go away, but at the same time, one will also fear being seen. The need to be seen is normal; the fear of being seen is not.
In order for one to move beyond this challenge, they will also need to receive the attunement that they didn’t receive all those years ago. And as this takes place, one will begin to feel that it is safe for them to be seen.
Through being recognised in the eyes of another and affirmed, one will gradually begin to develop a sense of self. This can be provided by a therapist, healer or some kind of body worker.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.